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To Define Poetry



Poetry is word crafting. Prose is a sentence crafting which is something altogether different. To define poetry is to define water. Water is H2O. When it is in a glass, it is a glass of water. When it is in an ocean, it is an ocean. When it is frozen, it is ice. When it is in the air, it is humidity. Hail, snow, fog or rain-Each of these is different in quality from the others, but it is still all H2O. Poetry can be an epic, a sonnet, a nursery rhyme, a lyric. Poetry can be symbolist or imagist, a tool of consciousness, iambic pentameter or a haiku. It can be the vessel of civilizations finest moments or the sweet sentiment of a greeting card. It can be the most fine tuned of human of human arts or it can be the awkward or untrained purveyor of innermost thoughts. All of these are poetry but are as different in form as H2O in an iceberg from H2O in a tear drop. The one thing all forms of poetry have in common is word crafting which is what poetry is.



Poetry was the transition from the calls of the higher mammals to the first conscious affirmations of the emerging humans.

At what point in the passing of generations
did the cry for the mate become a prayer to the power of creation?

Were we human before language
or did language make us human?

At what point in the passing of generations
Did the cry of danger and the sound for near and far
become moveable units that-on command-could create
a sentence--“Danger is near.” “Danger is far.”
At what point in the passing of generations did being become a verb?

When was fire captured and named?
When did watching the day sky and the night sky
become a mystery that could be taught to the young in myths?
Was it chanting to the rhythms of the fire that formed
the first invocations the powers which both feed and deny?

At what point in the passing of generations
did the ghost of memory demand sounds to name
those slain in hunt or the mother's whose
birth-spirit blessed the arrival of the new ones?

At what point did fear demand a chant
to quiet the consciousness of powers
that both create and destroy?

Poetry was this.


poetry will be
what poetry
has always been